TLDEF works to ensure that transgender and gender non-conforming students have safe and equal access to educational opportunities. Discrimination and violence are a pervasive aspect of the educational experience for many transgender and gender non-conforming students. Social isolation is common. For some, bullying and harassment by peers are a daily fact-of-life. Merely showing up at school can invite violence. Institutional tolerance of this bullying and harassment by teachers and school administrators leaves victims with few places to turn. For some, family support is similarly elusive. Just going to school becomes a daily ordeal and educational success becomes difficult to achieve.
Beyond violence, other problems present themselves, too. School administrators may inequitably enforce dress codes and restroom access policies, forcing transgender and gender non-conforming students to choose between expressing their identities and accessing education. No one should have to make that choice.
In higher education, college and university housing policies often force transgender and gender non-conforming students to be housed according to their birth sex, causing internal conflict for the student and external conflict with roommates. In the already difficult adjustment to college life, transgender and gender non-conforming students face these and other additional obstacles.